Latkes with Yogurt and Date Molasses

Time1 hour 30 minutes, partly unattended
YieldsMakes about 24 latkes
Fried latkes sit on a cooling rack as other latkes are fried.
Latkes made with potatoes as well as squash and sweet potatoes are fried, then served with a yogurt-mint dip.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
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These crispy, golden latkes are made with potatoes, squash and sweet potatoes. The key is to drain the grated vegetables well and make the patties just before frying. Using flavors of the Middle East, the latkes are served with herbed yogurt drizzled with date molasses. When serving, drizzle additional olive oil on top of the yogurt dip and garnish with whole fresh mint leaves.

Yogurt dip

Peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes and calabacitas. Using the large holes of a box grater or food processor blade, grate the potatoes, sweet potatoes, calabacitas and onion. Place all of the grated vegetables in a large strainer set over a bowl and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt. Using your hands or a large spoon, mix to disperse the salt and let sit for 45 minutes. Squeeze it and press it down a bit to help drain the liquid as much as possible.


Pour the oil into a large, deep, heavy-bottom frying pan, preferably nonstick, to a depth of about 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees over medium-high heat.


While waiting for the oil to heat, transfer the grated vegetables to a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Using your hands, mix well. Add the eggs and mix again.


When the oil has reached 375, measure 1 tablespoon of the vegetable mixture and form it into a ball. Using your hands, squeeze a bit more of the remaining liquid from it and drop into the oil. Working in batches, repeat with the mixture, taking care not to overcrowd the oil. Fry until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Use a skimmer to remove the latkes from the oil and place them on a cooling rack or a plate lined with paper towels.


Make the yogurt dip: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, olive oil, salt and chopped mint leaves and drizzle date molasses on top. Garnish with whole mint leaves.


Serve the latkes while still hot with yogurt dip on the side.